Thursday, April 24, 2014

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter VII: A Good Day

The Doc opened the balcony door and let the cool breeze of Lyonesse’s evening air rush in. He took two steps back blindly to where he knew a large wing chair awaited him. His eyes were fixed on the shimmering lights spread out on the skyline but his mind was focused on the events that had just transpired. He had just made one of the biggest deals of his life, maybe the biggest. ‘This’, he thought, ‘was a good day.’

Next to the chair lay a cigar tube, a cutter, and a box of matches. The Doc retrieved the contents of the tube, amputated the end, and set a lit match to it. He closed his eyes, savouring the first inhalation of the smoke as he rolled it in his mouth. He became aware that something was being placed in his hand and his sense of accomplishment which, if could have been measured, was nearly bursting a moment before, was now positively gloating with satisfaction to find a 30 cycle whisky proffered by an exquisite woman.

Julie had a glass of red wine in her hand, and she joined it with his tumbler in a silent toast. She moved gracefully to the balcony, and the vortex of air whipped her red locks around her head lightly. He stared at her in awe. She was as beautiful as the day he had bet her but, more importantly, the Doc owed as much of the success of his meeting with the former president of the Norlights to her. She had been brilliant in her mix of diplomacy and hostmanship. ‘This’, his thought again, ‘was a great day’.

The door knocked and a voice called room service. The meal the Adlon had prepared for the Doc’s meeting with Von Breslau had been exceptional. Julie smiled, waved him to stay seated, and kissed him on the forehead quickly as she went to answer the door and supervise the removal of the trolley. The Doc was content, satisfied and deeply relaxed.

The way Julie sharply inhaled felt like a cold knife slipping into the hollow between his lungs. He didn’t know what had given her a start, but he was instantly in action. 15 cycles of training, war, and narrow escapes had bred exceptionally quick responses in the Doc. He was already out of his chair and finding his equilibrium for whatever was to come. His mind was racing only a short distance behind. He had no weapons; Von Breslau’s people had swept for those. He had made it as far as planning on throwing the solid crystal tumbler as a missile and trying to activate the hotel alarm with his lit cigar when his awareness caught up with his instincts and he froze.

Doctor Tom Chambers prided himself on a great many things, but he felt his greatest asset was his calculating mind: his ability to see angles and predict opportunities as well as obstacles. He was often disappointed he hadn’t anticipated every outcome because of a lack of information, but he was rarely surprised. Consequently he wasn’t surprised now. He was, however, shocked.

“Hello, Tom,” the bellhop said in his familiar voice.

Tom staggered forward, he put the whiskey down, and the cigar went into it. He arms reached out to touch this apparition.  He scrutinized the familiar face and frame for signs of a trick. A flash of violent rage burned hot for a split second as he considered this was somehow a ploy and his fingers shook, ready to throttle the interloper but then they relaxed. He looked in Ti’s eyes and saw one of his closest friends, the man he had come to see as a brother, a man he had believed was dead. The Doc’s hands landed on solid shoulders and reached around a familiar back and embraced a loved one.

He held him like one would cradle a child; a prodigal son returned. Tom did not release him until he had steadied his breath and, despite his best efforts, had not been able to stem the rising tide of his feelings. Tom pulled back, warm tears rolling down his cheeks, to look into those familiar eyes.

“This,” Tom’s cracking voice struggled to say between choking breaths, “is the best day.”

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.